I loved the EU Embassy Day Open House and since my last tour in the Navy was at EUCOM, I realized how much fun it was to visit each Embassy and relish on the food and culture that the Old World offered.
On May 14, over 70 runners showed up at Gold’s Gym Van Ness to do the two favorite things they love: Running with friends and visiting European Embassies all over this multi-cultural city. The Gym was gracious to let us use their space to gather and organize and of course use their restroom facilities. I slept in the parking lot and used their bathroom and sauna first thing, and I was ready to roll.
The run started in Van Ness with Slovakia and Austria gracious to open their doors for the runners a little bit early. There was the Red Bull van and lots of Red Bull drinks to vitalize mind and body.
Then the runners headed west towards Rock Creek visiting the Kingdom of the Netherlands where the Heineken was fresh and full of body. A Dutch DJ spun international tunes in the Embassy lounge and everyone was happy to enjoy the melody and librations.
Then to Czech Republic and Hungary where we enjoyed delicious Goulash with wine and admired the athletic prowess of the Vizsla.
This year the runners were treated with a scenic stroll through the Melvin Hazen Trail. The moderately technical, half-mile stretch of quiet trail follows a tributary from Rock Creek. The scenic trail offers lush greenery and water crossings.
“The money raised will buy a trailer critical to transporting kayaks for the wounded,” said Joe Mornini, Executive Director and Co-Founder for Team River Runner. “A trailer allows us to take healing on the road, and help ease the workload of the volunteers in a community.”
Team River Runner served a critical role during the run, by transporting bags, directing runners and even transporting runners back to Van Ness after the party.
“The embassies along our route were friendly and welcoming. They shared their culture and culinary specialties, offering samples of cheese, pastries, chocolates, wine and more,” said Lisa Sweetland, a first-year runner.
“My friends and I had a wonderful run while experiencing and appreciating the EU’s customs and arts. Thanks to the myriad of volunteers who helped guide us through the D.C. streets and ensured the run moved along smoothly.”
Over 15 Embassies were toured, over a dozen miles were ran and over $3,000 was was raised for Team River Runner.
The money raised would provide health and healing through adaptive kayaking for wounded service members and their families.